Baking is one of my favorite things to do and during the Winter Holidays I make Gingerbread Houses and I teach other people how to make Gingerbread. This past December, in addition to my classes I baked and built four different houses. One for the Cancer Support Community’s Holiday Boutique, one for a sample for my class, one for home and one as a gift. There are two ways to bake the houses – one is to cut out the pieces from the unbaked dough and the other is to bake the dough first before cutting out the pieces. The advantage of the second method is that the pieces will all fit together without additional trimming after the baking process. The disadvantage is that there are going to be a lot of sections of cookie that will not be big enough for any house, except for the chimney and how many of those do you need? Now we do love to eat the leftovers but when there are a lot of leftovers, you can only so much.
As I said, Baking is one of my favorite things to do, but another one of my favorite culinary activities is to turn leftovers into new products and that is what I did with the leftover Gingerbread pieces. I pulverized them to a fine crumb in my Food Processor and turned them into a Waffle Batter. If you like Gingerbread, then you certainly will like Gingerbread Waffles. Here is how I did it.
- Break up the leftover Gingerbread pieces into sections that will fit in your Food Processor that has been fitted with the Chopping Blade. Use the Pulse Button to break up the pieces into small pieces and then turn it on to finely chop the Gingerbread pieces. You should end up with a medium to fine crumb.
- Measure the Crumbs – 2 cups of Gingerbread Crumbs will make enough waffles for 3-4 people.
- Use your Food Processor (do not wash out the bowl) or a large mixing bowl. Beat 3 Eggs until well mixed and then add 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk and blend together.
- Combine the Gingerbread Crumbs with 1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger and 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda. Add to the Buttermilk/Egg mixture and Pulse, just until mixed. If doing in a bowl, with a whisk, just mix until the Ingredients are blended – DO NOT OVER-MIX! (Over-mixing Waffle, Pancake or Muffin Batter will make the product tough.
- Stir in 1/4 cup Melted Butter.
- Heat your Waffle Iron until the indicator light tells you the Iron is hot. If necessary, lightly oil or spray the surface of the Iron.
- Pour approximately 1/2 cup of Batter on each section of you Waffle Irons Grids (this will vary, depending on the size and shape of our Waffle Iron)
- Close and Bake until the steaming stops. Keep the baked Waffles warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve them.
- Serve with Fruit Compote and or Maple Syrup and melted Butter. The Waffles in the Feature Photo are served with crisply cooked bacon.
- For the Fruit Compote,I melted about 2 Tbsps. of Butter along with Brown Sugar (2-4 Tbsps.). I then added pitted and halved Cherries, Blackberries and fresh Pineapple pieces. This will work with just about any fruit – Apples are great with Gingerbread as well as Bananas, Mango or Papaya.
And this is how you use leftover Gingerbread to make Waffles! As a convenience, I have also listed the ingredients below.
2 CUPS Gingerbread Crumbs
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground Ginger
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1/4 cup melted Butter
September 26th is ‘National Pancake Day’. I do not know of anyone who does not like Pancakes. Pancakes are an exceptional food and can be made for any meal of the day or just for dessert. Pancakes can be found in many varieties around the world and they are not just made from wheat products. Pancakes may be made from Vegetables or Fruit. If you know the basic formula for making good pancakes, you can just about make them from any of the ingredients you may have in your pantry or refrigerator.
Pancakes normally eaten for breakfast can be made with All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Buckwheat Flour or even Cornmeal. There are almost always Eggs in Pancakes and in fact, the more Eggs in the recipe, the lighter and thinner your pancakes will be. In addition to Eggs, there should be some liquid which is usually in the form of a Milk product.
Buttermilk is popularly used for pancakes as not only does it provide flavor but helps to make your pancakes lighter and fluffier. If you do not have Buttermilk, but do have Sour Cream, that can be used also. To make a facsimile of Buttermilk just add 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice to your measuring cup before adding your milk product. After putting in the Lemon Juice, then add the milk and let it stand for a few minutes. The Lemon Juice will add some tartness to the milk and actually make it curdle, thereby giving you the effect of Buttermilk. I have even used Cottage Cheese or Cream Cheese in my Pancakes. In the case of the last two ingredients you may have to use additional eggs or even add some water to get the consistency you will want for your pancakes.
If you have fruit that is getting too ripe to eat, you can mash it up and put that in your pancakes. Bananas or Apples are especially good for this purpose.
My over-all formula for making Pancakes from whatever I have on hand at the moment is:
Two Cups of Milk Product
2 cups Flour
½ tsp. Baking Soda*
¼ tsp. Salt
1-3 tsps. Sugar**
2 – 4 Tbsps. melted Butter or Vegetable Oil
While you are making up the Batter, begin heating your griddle over low heat. To make the Batter follow the general directions below.
Whip up the Eggs and then add your Milk Product. If you are adding fruit, this the time to add them is right after the Milk. Just stir in the fruit. Combine the Dry Ingredients and add, stirring only to combine the ingredients. Next, stir in the melted Butter or Oil.
Turn the heat up on your griddle. Your griddle will be hot enough when a drop of water will sizzle upon contact with the surface of the griddle.
Rub a thin layer of Butter on the griddle (this will be for the first batch only) or use a Vegetable Spray. Then ladle or pour your batter onto the hot griddle. For he-man size pancakes, use up to a whole cup of Batter and cook just one at a time. For smaller pancakes, use anywhere from ¼ cup to 1/3 cups of Batter. Once bubbles form on the surface and the edges begin to dry, then it will be time to turn them over and cook the other side. The second side will cook considerably faster than the first one.
If you like your pancakes thinner than the first batch turns out, add a little more milk or if you like them thicker, stir in a little more flour.
If you are feeding a crowd, turn the oven to 250 degrees and put your pancakes on a shallow baking sheet as you make and keep warm in the oven until time to serve.
Serve your pancake with melted Butter and Hot Syrup. There are many types of Syrup that can be used, however Maple seems to be the most popular in the US. Other syrups that are available are Apple Syrup or Berry Syrup. In Hawaii you can also get Pineapple or Coconut Syrup.
Caramelized Fruit is also a nice accompaniment to Pancakes. Fruit that can easily be Caramelized is Apple, Banana, Mango, Papaya. Berries can be sliced, sugared and served with Pancakes also or they can be turned into a Sauce by cooking them with a little sugar and a dash of Lemon Juice.
Whichever way you like your pancakes, do enjoy them!
Bite into an ethereal piece of heaven – a delightful flaky tasty Buttermilk Biscuit, which if made properly will be a delicious accompaniment to most any meal or even be the basis of a meal itself. The Southern United States is probably the most famous place for Buttermilk Biscuits, but that does not mean you can’t find good ones any place else. Actually, one of our famous fast food fried chicken companies has an excellent biscuit. (Whether or not it is made with buttermilk or plain milk, I don’t know, but it is really a very good biscuit)
Of course, you can find them right in your own kitchen by making your own. All it takes is some flour, baking powder, baking soda, butter, salt, a dash of sugar and of course buttermilk. The secret to making good biscuits is to not over-knead the dough nor to roll it out too flat. You can also make the buttermilk biscuit into a drop biscuit and then you have no fear of over-kneading because you do not knead. To make a drop biscuit, just add a tablespoon or so extra of buttermilk and then drop the dough onto a greased pan and bake as you would for the kneaded variety.
When baking biscuits, place them in the baking closely togethr. If there is too much room between the biscuits, they will spread out and turn out flat. When they are placed close together (with about 1/4″ space between each one) they will rise up and be fluffy and puffy, not flat.
Enough about making them, but what are they ways in which you can use them, other than just eating them plain, buttered, with honey or jam or jelly?
Biscuits can be used for the toppings of deep dish pies, either savory or sweet. You can add cheese to the dough and have cheese biscuits. In the South, Biscuits and Country Gravy are a popular breakfast food. You can make mini- egg & cheese sandwiches from biscuits and biscuits are also the traditional ‘cake’ for the Strawberry Short Cake. Biscuits are great with stews, chili or fried chicken. In short, they can be served in numerous ways and can be eaten with any number of condiments. So, on Monday, April 14th or any other day, make some biscuits and serve them to your family. Use your imagination and see how many different ways you can come up with to vary the use of Buttermilk Biscuits.
Try the Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe in this blog; experiment with it and see how many different variations you can create. baked-goods/breads/buttermilk-biscuits/